Different bicycles and specific accessories are required when traveling over various terrains. Although gravel bicycles often look like conventional road bikes, the gravel bike’s design provides stabilization for off-road handling. Usually, the specific build of a gravel bicycle involves a longer wheelbase and slacker angles on its frame.
Athletes who travel on a gravel bike know that the going may be rough, which is why a comfortable and long-lasting bike seat–or saddle–is necessary for the best experience on a gravel bike. Unlike road biking, cyclists who traverse gravel paths and other natural roads need specific gear to help them succeed. One critical component to any good gravel bike is a comfortable and durable seat.
By comparing best gravel bike seats presently on the market, this article will help you find the perfect fit for your particular off-road biking needs.
- 1. Brooks Cambium C13 Saddle
- 2. Specialized Power Expert
- 3. Fizik Tundra M1
- 4. Prologo Dimension AGX
- 5. Terry Butterfly Carbon Saddle
- Finding the Best Gravel Bike Seats
1. Brooks Cambium C13 Saddle
When using a gravel bike, debris and rough terrain are all part of the journey, so the “durability factor” weighs heavily in our assessment of the best bike saddles for gravel bikes. The Brooks Cambium C13 is fashionable and durable. Made with natural rubber, the Brooks Cambium C13 is nearly impossible to break, and it provides excellent shock absorption.
The Brooks Cambium C13 is uniquely constructed of a carbon fiber frame, then covered with a piece of rubber, making this saddle so durable it can outlast the longest, roughest trail.
- The retail price is about $220
- Boasts a vulcanized-rubber top
- Composed of flexible, natural rubber
One rider said that this bike seat was “an absolute revelation.” They went on to review the saddle, saying, “my first ride on it was 30 miles, and it was just as comfortable at mile 30 as it was at mile 1.” With high customer satisfaction ratings, we give this gravel bike seat two-thumbs up!
2. Specialized Power Expert
The Specialized Power Expert has a relatively short front with a broad tail; the center of the saddle is open – a design that enhances blood flow and relieves pressure. A comfortable seat, the Specialized Power Expert, has minimal padding with a firm platform.
- The bike seat works for both men and women
- Constructed with a carbon-reinforced shell for durability
- Budget-friendly at about $160
Users reviewed the Specialized Power Expert saddle with high praise. Specifically, one rider, Mike, says, “This saddle is very comfortable, [I] can do 50-mile rides with no issues…no matter the position you are on the saddle, you are supported.” In addition, customers’ keen words of advice include determining what size seat will be most comfortable by accurately measuring your hip bones and following the sizing chart.
3. Fizik Tundra M1
For bikers with fast-moving legs, the Fizik Tundra M1 allows for lots of leg mobility. In addition, where the legs come in contact with the gravel bike seat, the Fizik Tundra M1 provides additional room and flexibility for athletic strides.
The Fizik Tundra M1 is a cross-country-focused bike seat. The bike seat is smooth, and its users see no visible seams in the construction.
- The seat is exceptionally light
- Retails around $250
- Used by international athlete, Cédric Gracia
Users have found this type of saddle to be most compatible with bodies that have narrower hips and a wider range of motion. Although the front of the seat is designed to be longer, which allows for more control of the bike, it does limit the pelvic movement of the biker.
4. Prologo Dimension AGX
With a primary focus on comfort, the Prologo Dimension AGX is a bit heavier than some other gravel bike seats, due mainly to the saddle’s improved foam density. In addition, the thickness of this seat counteracts vibrations from off-road cycling.
The Prologo Dimension AGX is visually pleasing, boasting a refined aesthetic. Furthermore, this seat was explicitly crafted for off-road adventures; indeed, AGX stands for Adventure, Gravel, and Cyclocross!
- The saddle displays a special ergonomic design
- Meant for all as a unisex bicycle addition
- It costs about $152
Reviews of the Prologo Dimension AGX speak to its comfort and durability. Whether you are a beginner cyclist or an advanced athlete, this gravel bike seat will enhance comfort and allow for longer rides. With an unbeatable ergonomic design, the Prologo Dimension AGX is a unique find.
5. Terry Butterfly Carbon Saddle
The Terry Butterfly Carbon Saddle is perfect for the robust adventurer. The structure of the saddle is specifically designed for longer rides over rugged terrain. Leather-covered and comfortable, the Terry Butterfly Carbon Saddle adds visual appeal and supports a comfortable ride.
While appearing relatively thin, the Terry Butterfly Carbon Saddle has foam inserted directly into the seat for increased support. For riders who want to speed over rough trails, this gravel bike seat is a great fit.
- The saddle is best for female cyclists
- Satisfaction guarantee with returns issued if the seat is not a good fit
- Priced at about $199
Cyclists using this gravel bike seat applaud its functionality, saying “it is the most comfortable I’ve ridden” and “the saddle is lightweight and comfortable for long mountain bike rides.” From cyclist to cyclist, this seat is certainly worth giving a ride!
Are Gravel Bikes Comfortable to Ride?
Gravel bikes are comfortable on a variety of surfaces. Wider tires, a shorter wheelbase, and hydraulic disc brakes are all features included in their design for improved handling, comfort, and stability on any surface. Unlike road bikes, gravel bikes are built to sustain these qualities over long distances and difficult terrain. You may ride comfortably on a gravel bike wherever the journey takes you.
However, getting a comfortable and durable seat is important, especially for off-roading cycling over long distances. The make of the seat would depend on the riding style, terrain usually traveled, and cycling goals. The bike body type also needs to be considered before choosing a seat.
Another attribute that amplifies the comfortability of gravel bikes is the presence of extra water bottle mounts and racks for extra gear and necessities. These features ensure you can carry all you need on your ride.
Does the Bike Seat Matter?
While riding on uneven terrain, the bike seat supports the rider’s weight and absorbs shock. The bike seat is one of the factors that determines how comfortable a rider is while riding. Rides that are typically arduous can be made more bearable with a seat tailored to your demands and strengths.
It’s crucial to get the bike seat that’s right for you. The characteristics and benefits of each seat vary. Therefore, buying one that puts little to no pressure on your perineal area and ensures that extended riding won’t harm your nerves and blood vessels is crucial.
For the optimal riding experience, the ideal seat for you should be able to balance out the pressure of your body weight with the friction of pedaling.
How Do I Choose the Right Gravel Bike Seat?
To make the right choice for the gravel bike seat, you need to take into account the following.
Body type: Bike seats come in various sizes to fit various body shapes. The seat width determines the proper size and how effectively it can support the sitting bones that absorb your weight. Seat width varies across genders due to variations in hip width and the position of the sitting bones in the body.
Riding style: What is expected of a seat varies depending on the riding discipline. Road biking seats cannot be the same as those used for mountain riding or long-distance touring. That is why it is important to evaluate your riding style, as this will help you determine the shape and structure of the seat required for the best riding experience.
Frequency of riding on rough terrains: If you frequently ride on rough terrain, you’ll need a seat that can provide comfort and toughness for your offroad adventures, like the Prologo Dimension AGX. No matter how bumpy the road becomes, you can stay comfortable with a higher foam-density seat.
Durability: In gravel biking, the bike comes in contact with tough terrains that test the durability of all the bike parts, including the seat. The right seat would be made of the right materials to counteract the effects of friction and pressure put on the seat and ensure comfort. For example, the Brooks Cambium C13 is made of flexible, natural rubber constructed on a carbon fiber frame that is durable enough to withstand the toughest trails.
Keep in mind that gravel bike seats are not one size fits all. So, the perfect seat for one rider could be the most uncomfortable for another. That’s why it’s essential to consider the aspects of your riding before purchasing one.
What is the Most Comfortable Gravel Bike Seat?
The comfortability of a gravel bike seat is determined by the anatomy and preferences of each rider. Although some companies are known for using high-end components, ergonomic layouts, and general comfort, it’s crucial to note that everyone has distinct anatomy and comfort preferences, and what one person finds comfortable may not be pleasant for another.
So, trying out several seats or speaking with a bike expert who can guide you toward the best seat for your requirements may be useful.
Also, note that several factors contribute to how comfortable a gravel bike seat is.
- Shape and design: A well-designed seat improves blood flow and gives enough support without putting too much strain on the perineum or other delicate regions.
- Materials used: Seats made of premium leather are frequently more breathable and durable. Additionally, support and comfort are provided by performance textiles.
- Padding: Padding offers support when you are riding. Too much or too little padding can cause pain and change the pedaling frequency.
- Width: Choosing the proper seat width may assist in pressure and weight is distributed properly.
Finding the Best Gravel Bike Seats
With so many options on the market for gravel bike seats, cyclists will undoubtedly find what works best for their riding style and cycling goals. When reviewing off-road adventure-style seats, the primary factors were comfort and durability. Gravel rides are often long and arduous–selecting the right gravel saddle for your bicycle should not be.
The unique challenge of gravel biking requires specialized equipment. Finding the right seat for the adventure ahead is critical. Casual trail bikers to extreme off-road athletes use gravel bikes. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, you deserve a quality saddle that fits your needs and your strengths. From Brooks to Terry, many brands have built incredible seats to help any athlete achieve their goals!